UPDATE: Six People Charged for Roles in Newark Drug Trafficking Organization
Federal and local law enforcement authorities have charged six people for their alleged roles in a drug trafficking organization that distributed heroin in Newark, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.
According to authorities, Andre Mims, 42, Herbert Cheeks, 52, and Anthony Woods, 54, all of Newark; Gregory Mims, 43, of East Orange, and James Thomas, 51, of Bronx, New York; are each charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin. Andre Mims and Cheeks are also charged with one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Freddie Mims, 35, of Irvington, is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin.
Officials say Gregory and Freddie Mims are scheduled to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Falk in Newark federal court. Andre Mims is in state custody and will appear in Newark federal court on Sept. 25, 2018. The other defendants – Cheeks, Woods and Thomas – remain at large.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Andre Mims and Cheeks are allegedly the leaders of a drug trafficking organization that sold heroin in and around Newark, including to customers from all over New Jersey. The organization also supplied drugs to customers and other distributors elsewhere. Law enforcement officials used physical and video surveillance, undercover officers, dozens of controlled narcotics purchases, record checks, narcotics and weapons seizures, and telephone wiretaps in their investigation.
The drug trafficking organization – known for its particular “stamps” of heroin, including “mastercard,” “ciroc” and “E.T.” – controlled several stash locations in Newark, Irvington and East Orange.
The count of drug trafficking conspiracy carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of 40 years in prison, and a $5 million fine. The drug possession count carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The felony gun possession counts carry a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
This drug trafficking organization was the focus of the Violent Crime Initiative (VCI) in Newark. The Newark VCI was formed in August 2017 by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, and the City of Newark’s Department of Public Safety for the sole purpose of combatting violent crime in and around the Newark. As part of this partnership, federal, state, county, and city agencies collaborate and pool resources to prosecute violent offenders who endanger the safety of the community.